Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Building capacity in African research

A research support project has provided training in the area of neglected animal-transmitted diseases for a new generation of African researchers.
Building capacity in African research
Studies show that proper interventions can limit the transmission of animal diseases like bird flu to humans. Pioneered by the One Health initiative, this vision faces challenges in the form of institutional barriers.

The EU-funded OH-NEXTGEN (Training of the One Health next scientific generation in the Sahel and Maghreb) project worked to empower a new generation of scientists to address the problem. Specifically, it assisted the One Health campaign by strengthening the body of evidence for integrated control of these diseases in seven African countries.

Activities centred on developing the curriculum for a web-based modular training course that covers selected neglected diseases like rabies. Generic themes included integrated methods of joint human and animal disease surveillance, health economic assessments and animal-human modelling of infectious disease.

From a societal perspective, a transdisciplinary approach connected science and society to address issues of culture, gender and health education. The added value of One Health for African scientists is demonstrated in each module.

Postgraduate medical, veterinary or biomedical scientists were defined as the course's target audience. Although designed with the Maghreb and Sahel regions in mind, the programme's training modules will be accessible worldwide through the European Tropical Health Education Network and other networks.

Course content, advocacy, and monitoring and evaluation have been developed, and 10 course modules were defined. OH-NEXTGEN promoted the course, mostly in the West Africa region; the project was also presented to various scientific and student groups.

Tutors for the online courses received training prior to running the courses, and an online learning platform has been established and is ready for use. Project partners have completed a business plan for the continuation of these courses beyond the lifetime of OH-NEXTGEN after 2015.

OH-NEXTGEN trained a total of 29 Francophone and 15 Anglophone scientists from the targeted regions in distance-learning education. The new generation of scientists in One Health research in Africa bodes well for increased awareness and support for the One Health programme.

Related information

Keywords

African research, animal-transmitted diseases, One Health, OH-NEXTGEN
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